If you're sick of your day job, becoming a freelance article writer for steady work probably sounds too good to be true. Fortunately, it's not as difficult as you might think to line up a roster of steady clients for your freelance writing business.
Being a Freelance Article Writer for Steady Work
When looking for steady work, the key is to be flexible in your approach.
Many freelance writers get their start by submitting articles to the local newspaper. With so many different events happening at once, it's hard for a newspaper to cover everything without hiring freelancers. If you're comfortable writing about sports, local politics, or the community arts scene, approach the appropriate editor to offer your services. If you can meet deadlines and turn in error-free copy, this can become a steady gig to add to your portfolio.
If you're looking for steady work, consider partnering with a local graphic designer, desktop publisher, or web developer. These types of businesses often have clients who require assistance developing content for their projects. Introduce yourself, provide a stack of business cards, and offer to provide mutual referrals to make the arrangement beneficial to everyone involved.
Online content mills are often criticized as being unprofessional and poorly paying. However, if you want to be a freelance article writer for steady work, it's hard to beat the stability of content writing. Since their business model depends upon a constant stream of new articles, there is always work available.
The key to success as a content writer is to stick to a few topics you know extremely well. Whether you're an expert on diet tips, automotive repair, or budget-friendly craft projects, you want to be able to write an article with as little research as possible. In content writing, speed is the key to earning a good income.
Content mills either pay a flat fee per article or a percentage of the revenue that your article generates. Revenue share agreements can be more profitable in the long run, but writers who are concerned with finding the quickest way to make money writing will want to focus their efforts on sites which pay a flat fee per article.
Some of the many different content sites available include:
- The Content Authority
- Demand Studios
- Associated Content
- Bright Hub
Private clients are the hardest to come by if you're just starting out as a freelance writer, but they can be a fantastic source of steady work. To increase your odds of landing private clients for your business, focus on areas in which you have the best credentials. If you used to work in real estate, contact realtors to offer your services writing brochures, web copy, or marketing materials. If you're a former teacher, look for opportunities with tutoring services or the developers of textbooks and study guides.
Remember that a one-time project can turn into a regular job as well. Whenever you finish a project for a client, ask if they have other work available or if they can refer you to someone in the company who might have a need for your services. Even if you do excellent work, your client is unlikely to realize you're available for other projects unless you bring up the issue.
Pricing Your Services
Writers who are publishing books often get large advances, while freelancers who submit magazine articles can make $1 per word. If you're a new freelancer looking for steady work, however, you may need to make a few concessions in your rates in order to keep yourself busy. Earning $2,000 for a feature in a magazine is fantastic, but not if that's the only work you have for six months.
Set freelance writing fees that will allow you to meet your expenses, but take into account the fact that steady work means you won't need to be spending as much time marketing your services or chasing down clients to get your invoices paid. Plan to evaluate your rates on a regular basis to determine if they are appropriate, as you will likely be able to command a higher fee for your services once you've gained more experience in the field.